Gary Neville raises Cristiano Ronaldo question that could help Manchester United this season

By George Smith & Stephen Killen

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has been left pondering whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo could be the difference maker in his former club's hopes of winning the Premier League title this season.

United, who kick-off their UEFA Champions League group stage campaign against Swiss outfit Young Boys on Tuesday evening, have enjoyed an impressive start to the season, taking ten points from their first four Premier League outings, meaning they currently sit top of the table.

Following the international break, United got their season back under way in the perfect style on Saturday afternoon, beating Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford, with a brace from the returning Ronaldo proving instrumental.

It was the perfect start for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner on his return to Old Trafford and he is going to be expected to score goals in abundance this season.

And it is his ability to score goals that has left Neville questioning whether or not his former team-mate could be the difference that helps United this season turn games that they drew last season into victories and bolster their title prospects.

"Manchester United had seven 0-0 draws last season, they drew 11 overall and lost six," Neville told Sky Sports. "They finished 12 points behind Manchester City.

"I think if you’re Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or Cristiano Ronaldo, you’re looking at stats like that and thinking ‘is he the man that will score a goal in those narrow margin matches?’

"I know it’s hypothetical. If they convert those seven draws into wins, Manchester United will be champions. And that is the big question, is Cristiano Ronaldo going to be enough to make Manchester United champions this season?"

To put Neville's claim into context, United, last season, were forced to settle for draws against the likes of Crystal Palace and relegated duo Fulham and West Bromwich Albion.

If the Reds are to challenge for the title this season, it is those types of matches that they will have to take maximum points from.

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